Residents in Ganze and Magarini sub-counties have called on the government to continue supplying relief food to starving families in Kilifi County.
The two sub-counties are among nine in Kilifi that are affected by the ongoing drought.
Families are also losing their livestock due to lack of water and pasture.
Last week, the national government officially launched a Sh2 billion relief food distribution programme to cushion suffering residents in 12 affected counties.
Kilifi residents raised concerns that the amount of food distributed was not enough.
Mr Gideon Charo, from the expansive Bamba in Ganze, said the area is severely affected by drought and residents were at risk of dying from hunger.
“The food distributed was too little for a group of people who do not have any other source of income apart from wandering in the hot sun searching for food and water,” he said.
“The smallest family in Bamba has about five children, but many families have over 10 members. One kilogram of rice and a kilo of beans is a drop in the ocean for them,” he said.
All water pans in the sub-county are dry.
Mr Chengo Chile, from Dingiria sub-location in Ganze, said that people may die from lack of food and water.
He faulted national government plans to dispatch food from one point.
He said all taps and water pans in the area had dried up.
He said that the taps only supplied water last week when Defense Cabinet Secretary Mr Eugene Wamalwa and Devolution Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro were in Mrima wa Ndege to distribute relief food.
“Dingiria and Mrima wa Ndege are different areas, a sub-location and a location with high populations. Putting food in one location is not being fair to starving people,” he said.
He said residents of Dingiria and others in the area had to trek over 20km to get relief food.
“Many people did not get the relief food. They went back home with their sacks heartbroken. There should be special plans to ensure all people get a reasonable portion,” he added.
Mr Chile said the government should ensure the food distributed is at the household level in future.
“Each assistant chief should identify households and distribute the relief food to his people,” he said.
Senior Chief Samson Chai said five sub-locations in Vitengeni division received a portion from 900 bags of rice and 139 bags of beans.
The sub-locations are Vitengeni, Mrima wa Ndege, Milore, Dulukiza, and Dingiria.
He said people from Vitengeni gate-crushed the programmes and received food.
“The food was distributed per household and not per head. We had targeted four sub-locations, but those from Vitengeni came because they are also in dire need of food,” he said.
He called on the government to hasten the supply of relief food, saying what had been supplied was not enough.
He added that many people lamented that the portions were inadequate.
“We want the government to be committed to the food distribution programme,” he said.
“The launch of the relief food distribution programme should not be a show from leaders to be praised by the suffering community. We need to see the effectiveness of what they have promised people.”
He said leaders should ensure there is consistent water supply as they promised.
"Sometimes people are given hopes that are not met. The food should also come in time to avoid keeping desperate people waiting only for them to walk back home empty-handed,” he said.
Ms Clarice Lozi, from Katsemerini village in Gongoni ward, Magarini, said the situation was bad and many families were surviving on one meal a day.
“A family wakes up in the morning and waits until noon to prepare a meal until the following day,” she said.
She said residents in her area did not receive relief food.
“We have not received any relief food, and even if it is there, it is not enough for everyone. The population of people who are starving is big,” she said.
She appealed to non-government organisations to donate relief food.
Ms Monica Randu, the Sabasaba village elder in Gongoni, said women depend on casual jobs to earn money for food.
“Women have decided to work for as little as Sh200. In this era when economic challenges are great, the money is not enough to buy food and other needs for a family,” she said.
On Wednesday, Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire raised the red flag over the worsening drought in the constituency.
He asked the government to intervene and save schoolchildren.
"All public primary and day secondary schools should be considered in the government’s lunch programme so as to cushion vulnerable youngsters in learning institutions. Things are tough," he said.